Pancho: the biography of Florence Lowe Barnes
PANCHO BARNES was one of aviation's most colorful members. Her alliance with aviation was sometimes outlandish, sometimes exemplary, but always dedicated. The granddaughter of famous balloonist Professor Thaddeus Lowe, PANCHO barnstormed her way through the early days of flight. She flew in the 1929 Powder Puff Derby & captured the women's speed record in 1930. Her peers recognized her for her competency in the air & her unequivocal generosity on the ground. Counted among PANCHO's friends were Jimmy Doolittle, Amelia Earhart, Howard Hughes, & Chuck Yeager. History credits PANCHO with the formation of both the Women's Air Reserve & the Association of Motion Picture Pilots. PANCHO's Happy Bottom riding club, next door to Edwards Air Force Base in California, became the ultimate debriefing room in the '50s. Hundred of test pilots, those with the 'right stuff', let off steam at PANCHO's - & mingled with her beautiful hostesses. When the Air Force expanded, they branded her a 'madam' & her club, a house of prostitution. PANCHO sued the government for slander & vindicated her good name. PANCHO's story is spun with treks through primitive jungles, fast living, & a renown elocution of profanity. She was a unique, one-of-a-kind character who became a 'legend' in her own time. To order contact: Little Buttes Publishing Co., P.O. Box 2043, Lancaster, CA 93539; (805) 948-0577.